I admit it was a bit anticlimactic. I somehow wanted more of a knock down drag out brawl between the brothers in which Sammy won without the aid of Castiel. Expectations will kill you every time. Having Dean back is good because we will now work with larger issues; the Mark of Cain and Castiel running on borrowed Grace. And just what is Crowley planning?
Jensen Ackles as producer for Episode Three helped to give the viewer a more in depth experience of what it is like to be Sam and Dean Winchester. Consider for a moment the story line seen only from a director’s view, the viewer would have a very clear idea of what is going on and the characters motives and actions are fairly cut and dry. When the actors step forward and direct the production the clean lines of fiction are blurred with the emotive lines of acting. We see more of who Sam and Dean and even Castiel really are. The choice to show Sam as the vulnerable young boy trying to save is big brother comes across at many points during last night’s episode. And with Dean’s return to himself comes the tentative question about Sam wanting to leave and the sort of plaintive note which reminds us that the filial bond of these brothers is their personal touchstone.
The development of both Castiel’s as well as Crowley’s humanity is highlighted in the scene where Crowley forces the stolen Grace upon the weak, bloodied, and battered Castiel. It is the transcendent notion of Crowley rising above his evil to save Cas who in turn sinks into the murky depths of trading principle for Survival. The poetic juxtaposition of this moment cements in our minds that humanity allows for uncharacteristic actions toward resolving dilemmas. Each of these interactions strengthens the bonds between good and evil, illustrating that you cannot know one without being aware of the other. Hannah offered to help Cas with obtaining Grace, Cas turned her down. He took a moral high road stating he was prepared to die, but offered little protest when Crowley proffered him the Grace he needed to live. The knowledge that Hannah did not kill for the Grace but that evil had made the idea of taking another angel’s Grace more palatable. It was an all around well done scene.
The bunker crackles with the tension and energy of Sam doing his best to purge the demon from Dean. While there were no surprises in the dialogue between the brothers the physical responses and the facial cues built a more intimate story for we fanatics who care about this misfit pair. Perhaps it is the mushy female in me but you could feel the fear Sammy felt as well as sense his resolve in wanting to save his brother not kill him. And, while I was disappointed that Cas had to intervene I respect how it played out. It was the unseen hand of God recognizing Sam’s willingness to sacrifice himself to the demon in Dean when He then intervened through the appearance of Castiel at just the right moment to stay the perpetuation of brother killing brother. You may argue this point with me, but if you follow the story thread you will see that it works mainly off emotion and inner reflection. Why was it that Crowley was in Hell day dreaming of Dean and their exploits, why was it that Cas and Hannah had to stop for gas, and why was it that Sam chose to visit Dean’s room? I say it is the invisible hand of God.
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